Alec Baldwin 'Rust' shooting trial set for July

Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ shooting trial set for July 10

/ 06:50 AM February 27, 2024

US actor Alec Baldwin

US actor Alec Baldwin attends DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby: Family Business” premiere at SVA Theatre on June 22, 2021, in New York City. Filming will resume this week on Baldwin’s “Rust,” producers said on April 18, 2023, some 18 months after it was halted by the fatal on-set shooting of the movie’s cinematographer. ANGELA WEISS / AFP

SANTA FE, N.M. — Alec Baldwin’s manslaughter trial for the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie “Rust” is set for July 10, a New Mexico judge ruled on Monday.

Hollywood has little recorded history of an actor being held criminally responsible for a shooting death during filming.


Hutchins died when the revolver Baldwin was holding fired a live round that also wounded director Joel Souza.


READ: Lawyers pin blame on Alec Baldwin as ‘Rust’ armorer trial opens

“Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez is standing trial for allegedly bringing the live round on set and failing to detect it. She told police she loaded it into Baldwin’s gun, mistaking it for a dummy round.

Lawyers for Gutierrez, who like Baldwin faces an involuntary manslaughter charge, claim she is being scapegoated for the actor’s failure to follow basic firearms safety rules.

Baldwin has said he is not responsible for Hutchins’ death. His lawyers plan to file a motion for charges to be dismissed on grounds a grand jury failed to follow rules by a judge when it reinstated charges against him in January, after they were dropped in April 2023.

During Gutierrez’s trial on Monday, an FBI firearms expert said the Italian-made Pietta reproduction Colt .45 revolver Baldwin was holding would not fire when fully cocked without the trigger being pulled.

The testimony contrasted with Baldwin’s initial comments after the shooting. He testified that he cocked the gun but did not pull the trigger.


“It would not fire without pulling the trigger in the full cock position,” FBI forensic examiner Bryce Ziegler testified, adding he had to break the gun by hitting its hammer with a rawhide mallet to make it fire in the fully-cocked position.

In a December 2021 ABC television interview, Baldwin said it was the job of Gutierrez and others to ensure firearm safety and live rounds should never have been brought on set.

Live rounds have been banned on movie sets for over a century after their use led to deaths during Hollywood’s silent era.

The movie industry’s SAG-AFTRA union has supported Baldwin’s position, saying actors are not employed to be weapons experts.

Gutierrez’s trial is expected to shape Baldwin’s defense strategy. Should she be convicted, legal experts doubt Baldwin could be convicted of criminal negligence because it would be difficult to hold both Gutierrez and Baldwin responsible for firearms safety

Baldwin said in a December 2021 television interview that he was directed to point the gun at the camera when it went off.

“I didn’t pull the trigger,” the actor told ABC television journalist George Stephanopoulos. “I cocked the gun and go, ‘Can you see that? Can you see that? And I let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off.”

Charges were dropped against Baldwin last year after new evidence suggested the hammer of the “Peacemaker” Colt. 45 might have been modified and the gun could have fired without the trigger being pulled.

Prosecutors called a grand jury to recharge Baldwin after an independent test of the single-action revolver confirmed the FBI’s findings that it would not discharge without a trigger pull.

Ziegler said he did not notice any modifications to the firearm when it arrived at the FBI labs in Quantico, Virginia.

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“It was functioning normally when I received it,” he said.

TAGS: Alec Baldwin, Rust

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